dinsdag 17 januari 2017

Ivory Gull | Elfenbeinmöwe

End december 2016 an adult Ivory Gull shows up on a German island in the Nord Friesisches Wattenmeer near the coast of Nord Friesland. The island is not very easy to visit this time of year so just a few birders are able and lucky enough to twitch this stunning bird.
On the second of january 2017 a charter boat with birders makes the trip to the island but the bird is not seen that day. 
The bird is rediscovered on the 15th on the mainland of Germany by Westerheve.
The next morming I receive a Whats App message with the question whether there are people interested to go to this bird the next day if it stays steady. Immediately I respond that I'm very interested dispite the fact that it's not a lifer for me because I saw the Bird in Naskov, Denmark end december 2006.
After a few calls and messenges the trip is planned and after a two hours sleep I meet my friend Max van Waasdijk in The Hague and half an hour later we meet Marten Miske and Arjan Dwarshuis in Amsterdam. After driving for an hour to Apeldoorn we join Mark de Vries and at three we are ready to go to Germany.
The weather is good despite some frost and fog, it was good enough for a save drive. The only stop, except for filling up gas, is one for the German Police. Five guys in a car at four o'clock in the morning seems a little bit strange to them so they stop us. We explain what we are going to do and a couple of minutes later we are already on the road again.
At eight o'clock we arrive at the site where the bird was last seen in the evening and there we meet Max Berlijn, who was there already at half past six. One thing is for sure, the bird isn't there any more so we have to search for it.

The place where the bird was last seen in the evening of the 15th (Tűmlauer-Koog)

fltr Mark de Vries, Arjan Dwarshuis, Rein Genuit and Max van Waasdijk 
(Photo Marten Miske)

Mystery Birder

Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)

Monday the bird was also seen on a field so we decide to search the fields in the area, but unfortunately we are not able to find the bird.
After two hours searching we drive past a little village St. Peter-Ording and we decide to make a walk on the beach over there because we can see a lot of Gulls.
During our walk we also do some birding, a couple of Long-tailed Ducks, some Goldeneyes and so on. Then I discover a Glaucous Gull, the bird is flying over. 15 minutes later suddenly Marten Miske starts screaming I HAVE FOUND IT, the IVORY GULL!! And there it is sitting on the beach on a patch of snow, what a relief to find the bird after a search of three hours.
Marten Miske after the rediscovering of the bird

We notify directly other birders and within the hour there are forty birders. 
fltr Maartje Bakker, Arjan Dwarshuis, Max Berlijn and Max van Waasdijk

The Ivory Gull is showing well en stays the rest of the afternoon on the beach.
On the way home we make a stop in an area half an hour from St. Peter Ording trying to spot a Greater Spotted Eagle. We can't find the bird in the little time we have so we drove off again to Apeldoorn. 
What a great day it was, good companions, nice birds and very good weather.

Ivory Gull | Elfenbeinmöwe | Ivoormeeuw (Pagophila eburnea)

The Team
Max van Waasdijk, Rein Genuït, Marten Miske, Arjan Dwarshuis and Mark de Vries

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